Good morning, Quartz readers!
Donald Trump touts his environmental leadership. The US president is expected to deliver a speech defending his administration’s environmental record, despite withdrawing from the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, boosting fossil fuel development, rolling back numerous environmental protections, and questioning climate change science.
Talks on denuclearizing North Korea. Stephen Biegun, the top US diplomat on North Korea, will be in Brussels and Berlin for discussions with Lee Do-hoon, South Korea’s special representative on peace and security.
Euro zone finance ministers talk top jobs. The group will discuss the next steps in the nomination of IMF chief Christine Lagarde as the incoming president of the European Central Bank. Since the IMF presidency typically goes to a European (paywall), they may come up with names for that post too.
Kevin Spacey appears in court. The actor faces a hearing in Nantucket on charges that he groped a teenager three years ago in the Massachusetts town. The victim dropped a civil case against Spacey but the criminal charges will proceed. Separately, financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a New York court on sex-trafficking charges involving underage girls.
Iran said it breached uranium enrichment limits. Tehran confirmed it was no longer complying with the nuclear deal it signed in 2015 (which the US withdrew from last year). Iran will boost enrichment levels above the limit agreed in the deal, but still far short of the concentration needed for weapons-grade nuclear material.
US federal agencies used state databases for facial-recognition searches. A Washington Post report revealed that the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been scanning through millions of driver’s license photos over the last five years— without congressional approval—for their investigations.
Unflattering cables by the UK’s ambassador in the US were leaked. In missives to London, Kim Darroch called the Trump administration “uniquely dysfunctional” and “inept.” At the same time, he told colleagues there is a “credible path” to Trump’s re-election.
Another mass protest in Hong Kong. Organizers estimated some 230,000 people took to the streets, part of a series of protests that began with opposition to an extradition bill, and now encompass other issues such as police brutality and lack of democracy.
Deutsche Bank said it will cut 18,000 jobs. The struggling German giant unveiled a sweeping restructuring plan that will shrink its investment bank, shed assets, and focus on safer, more stable business lines. The cuts affect one in five employees, and represent “nothing less than a fundamental rebuilding,” according to the CEO.
Checkmate: AI is not only better at humans than chess, it plays like us now. It used to be that computers could beat the best human chess players through brute mathematical force. Now they’re playing with intuition, aggression, and verve. But don’t expect them to beat us at poker anytime soon. Play a few moves ahead at the Quartz Obsession.
Data brokers and the race to find out everything about you. The amount of information we share is expanding at a rapid rate, and with it, an entire new industry designed to harvest, analyze, and sell your information to the highest bidder. Quartz reporter Olivia Goldhill lays out the facts in her field guide on the data boom. And in the first of a members-only video series, Brandless co-founder Tina Sharkey explains how to imbue your company with a sense of mission.
The tech world could solve the sperm crisis. Home-testing kits and sperm freezing could stem a decline in Western fertility rates.
To-do lists increase anxiety. Helpful reminders quickly morph into time-consuming chores that restrict freedom.
The “Beijing bikini” should be banned. Men might beat the heat by rolling up their shirts, but it’s uncivilized behavior.
People in Japan are using car-sharing to go nowhere. They’re napping, working, and storing stuff in vehicles.
Europe is being plagued by hairy, toxic caterpillars. They’ve forced swimming pools, restaurants, and public parks to shutter.
Trump campaign and GOP officials love Uber. They’ll pick it over rival Lyft, which has publicly opposed the president’s policies.
France is riveted by a lawsuit over a rooster. To many, the case over “Maurice” is really about the nation’s rural-urban divide.
Satellites spotted a 20-million-ton cluster of seaweed. Stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to West Africa, it could wreak havoc.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, friendly caterpillars, and low-volume roosters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Adam Rasmi and edited by Jackie Bischof.